Monday, November 17, 2014

There is a new bridge coming



Yesterday afternoon we took a trip out to North Queensferry to have a look at how things were progressing with the new Forth Crossing.  While the intention was focussed on the construction, in the end our attention was really captured by the sunset.


The walk across the Bridge was cold and the footpath was wobbling more than usual, or so it felt.


A fairly short walk - about 1.75 miles, but we stuttered along from photo to photo.


Eventually I gave up taking photos - there was too much to see and I just let it soak in.



A beautiful walk.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Tenerife - October 2014




Back now from a couple of weeks walking in Tenerife.  After a long and stressful year at work - the Scottish Independence Referendum took a lot out of me - it was great to get away for some rest and rebuilding.  Lots of food, sunshine, walks, wine and mountains.

I'll write up some of the walks, but here are a few photos to whet the appetite:

Puerto de la Cruz


Mount Teide from the Orotava Valley

Below Los Organos
Masca


at the end of the Masca Gorge
Buenavista
Pico Viejo


Las siete canadas

Las siete canadas

Garrachico
Anaga


Laurel Forests



Stubai Alps - Serles



I need to finish writing up the walks from our holiday in June to Austria.  I'm now back from a couple of weeks in Tenerife and have some good photos from there to share, but before that I should really complete the report from Austria.  This was a week we did at the start of June as a package with Inghams, based in Neustift about 25km from Innsbruck in an area called the Stubai Alps.

Friday was the last day and we visited a mountain area and a lift that we'd not been to so far in the week - Serles.  We got the bus out from the village along to Meiders another village maybe 10km down the valley towards Innsbruck.  It is from here that the lift takes you from the 960m village, up to the top station at 1600m.


Up there are a set of trails through some nice woods with some great views of the 2717m Serles -  a really beautiful peak.  There is a path up there that looked tempting, but time was too short to have a crack at it.


We followed one of the trails to the convent of Maria Waldrast - a place of pilgrimage.  These catholic shrines crack me up.  Two woodsman one day found a miraculous wooden statue of the Virgin in a tree....they made a church around it and then the place became a place of pilgrimage.  Ker-ching.  The village become prosperous.  There you go.  Still it is a pretty place in the woods.





It is a place as well where there is special healing water....which you can buy..


Well we sat there and had a beer at the convent cafe which was quite nice and then took another path back which went over the wooded summit of Jochl at 1878m.

On the way up we past another shrine and a series of "stations of the cross".  Austria is so "northern European" but I sometimes forget just how catholic it is as a country.







There were lots of good views of Serles as we headed back to the lift.

It is a big beast of a hill, but very impressive.




And always the cross on the top.


The summit of Jochl was in the woods but there were still good views.



Then we dropped back through the woods, returning to the cafe at the top of the cable car.



Which was a good place for a beer and cake!



The descent back to Mieders was pretty special.  I didn't take any photos, but it was a 2.8km "toboggan run" - where you sat in a little single seater cart of speed down a set of rails all the way back to the bottom of the hill.  Great fun, highly recommended and all included in the Stubai card that we got for free as hotel residents.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Glenshee - Creag Leacach & Glas Maol


I was thinking this week that the year was ticking past and I'd not yet been up a single Munro.  I didn't want the year to pass without any Munros being done!  So today, waking early I decided to pop up to Glenshee for a quick couple.

I parked at the bottom of the glen and headed straight up Creag Leacach, walking through the burn first to make sure my feet were wet all day!




I pushed it pretty hard all day either walking fast or running if it was downhill or flat.  It was great to be up high again, fresh air and clear views.








It was a good workout.

It was also a day for wildlife - all day the stags were roaring, and I saw hares and ptarmigan too.

So at least I've done 2 munros this year - not new ones and I remain the same distance away from completing....but it was good to be out.

Back to the sunrises - 5 October



Last Sunday I was back up in the Pentlands.  It is the time of year again when you can get up there and catch some great sunrises.  I was blessed to get a few great views last week.







All in all a great morning.  I went along the tops then dropped off past Castlelaw before coming back to the car at Hillend with a detour through the Bush to add some miles.  I'm turning into a bit of a runner at the moment....I've sort of an idea of running a marathon one of these days and am sort of adding mileage.